A 46-year-old Lincoln man who told would-be investors he had develop windmills that operated on solar power and an inexpensive method to desalinate seawater has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Federal judge John Gerrard sentenced Scott Usher to seven years in federal prison and ordered him to pay nearly $520,000 in restitution.
Usher’s 53-year-old wife, Robin, has been placed on probation and ordered to pay nearly $86,000 in restitution for her part in the wire fraud scheme.
U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg says Usher lied to investors, claiming he had been in high-stakes negotiations with companies and individuals; closing in on a deal that would yield them millions. Usher claimed to have personal conversations with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as well as actor Matt Damon, claiming all were interested in his inventions. Gilg says all of Usher’s pitches were lies.
Scott and Robin Usher traveled to Hawaii, telling investigators they were meeting Chinese officials who were interested in his desalinization technologies, closing in on a deal worth billions.
On their return to Lincoln, the Ushers hosted dinner parties in Lincoln restaurants in which they proclaimed the meeting with Chinese officials a success.
Robin Usher was convicted of failing to disclose to investors the truth about the trip.
Federal prosecutors report that as conditions of her probation, Robin Usher will be under home confinement for eight months, plus 12 consecutive weekends of confinement in a detention facility